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snowgoose.skipper Offline

Beiträge: 40

09.01.2012 12:56
River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Please excuse my use of English: I could not write this report in German - but as I took advice from this forum, and as it concerns a German river, I hope it is ok to post a report here - though I should have done this last summer!

***** Report *****

The August 2011 issue of Canoe Focus featured River Weser and the the Elbe...

On the River Weser you are deep in rural Germany in an area that has well-presented towns and varied and interesting countryside running along the western edge of the Harz Mountains. Paddling is a delight. At all times of the year, the Weser is a fast moving though flat river passing through wonderful towns such as Rinteln (twinned with Kendal) and Hameln (Hamblin) where the medieval character has been preserved and new developments lie behind facades that enrich the town rather than add only function.

A month or so before than report came out, we found ourselves at a great little campsite in Hann. Münden (Lower Saxony), almost on the confluence of the rivers, where the Fulda and Werra join to create the Weser): a stunning settlement, fully meriting the description in the tourist literature as the Half Timbered Jewel and Town of Three Rivers. That link takes you to great photos and a bit of history and context: the reality did not disappoint!

Following advice on, we were intending to paddle the Fulda, perhaps finishing at Hann. Münden... though we were tending to favour Kassel in Hesse (of Brothers Grimm / Grimm’s Fairy Tales fame). We were soon convinced to paddle the Weser instead: sold on the swift current (freed from the weirs and locks of the Fulda) and the promise of some stunning scenery. The campsite was all set up for this: arrangements to leave the car on their island (under the bridge, so out of the sun) were easily made... and when they suddenly appeared with a train-timetable for getting back from Hameln (of Pied Piper fame)... we had a plan!

Having travelled overnight from the UK (sleeping for just a few hours in the car), dawdling through Kassel (and failing to find the magnificent TourenAtlas TA4, Oberweser-Leine: purchased after our trip)... we spent most of our first day exploring, playing and packing... not departing until approaching 3.30pm... when we set off with a fun run down the only stretch of "rapids" we were to encounter (adjacent to the campsite, and easily avoidable: they are not on the main river, which is a flatwater, navigable waterway).

In a somewhat surprising move, my dearest daughter fell asleep within 10 minutes: exhausted before we'd even begun... though that allowed me to take advantage of being fresh by cracking on. I did get a bit of a shock when I realised that a combination of a good flow and some hard paddling was occasionally shifting us along (where we could get out of the headwinds) at ~10km/h!

After a bit, my tandem partner awoke... wanting to be fed. We stopped here...

By the time we'd played around and got back on the river, I was keen to push on... but before long we came across a near-deserted campsite, and as the light was fading, we stopped for a look. This turned out to be a real gem of a site: we had the riverbank virtually to ourselves! IIRC, it was [URL=""]Familie Gerland Campingplatz Gieselwerder[/URL]...

Before long, we settled down. I was sure the original deal was "one furry animal"...

The next morning was a tad grey... and the river had dropped a lot. Beautiful spot though...

By mid-morning long we were on our way.... and we never once had any reason to regret our choice of river: the scenery was great... and we often had company...

I took this photo a couple of days later (heading by car to collect the canoe): I can't recall quite where I was, but this shows the scenery better than the ones I took from the river...

Back to the river: before too long, we enountered the first of two organised events that we were pass through during the day. I'm not sure what this was all about... but I got the impression it was some sort of race (time trial). A crowd on the bank was yelling encouragement... and we certainly didn't mind holding back whilst they did their thing...

That's about the only shot that even hints at the headwinds we were encountering: stopping paddling generally meant stopping dead in the water despite the current!

Further on, the company on the riverbank got more inquisitive...

Then we came across our second event of the day: a massive dragon-boat racing meet attended by hundreds of competitors and onlookers!

We stopped to watch the dragonboats for half an hour (as I recall, one of two stops in the day) and then pushed on downstream... past some pretty places:

Eventually, the light began to fade... but we'd heard that grandma was going to meet us the following afternoon... so we needed to get a bit further before stopping. We ended up having a nice evening paddle....

We managed another bite to eat whilst sheltering from a squall... and pootled on. As I recall, my tandem partner spent far more time practising on her Ocarina than paddling... but that was ok. IIRC, this shot was as we neared the end of the day, some 66km downstream from our previous camp...

About 9pm, we stumbled across a [URL=""]big campsite near Heinsen[/URL]... but we spotted a quiet bit of riverbank we could have to ourselves and by 10:30pm we were showed and settled for a much needed kip.

The next morning, the weather wasn't great... but the location was pretty good:

we were keen to get off, but not before a much-needed breakfast:

We'd heard that Grandma was going to be awaiting us at Emmerthal for a late lunch... which didn't give long to rattle off the remaining ~35km... especially given what turned out to be even more challenging headwinds than the day before: encountered whether heading east, north or west, and frequently strong enough to ensure my paddling partner was needed for us to make meaningful progress!

Many of the waterfront properties were appealing:

We didn't stop to take photos: we both had to paddle hard to make much progress... and the occasional squall didn't encourage dawdling.. but here are some photos I took the next day of the lovely place we should (with hindsight) have finished:

This was the view downstream... and as you might expect, the river ran right past those cooling towers (which heated the water appreciably, and co-incided with the appearance of a foul scum on the water surface)...

This was where we did get out... just as our welcoming party crossed the bridge!

Later that afternoon, we were camped back at Hann. Münden...

Later that afternoon / the next morning, we took a bit of time out to explore...

All told, we had a grand 3 days... and I'd highly commend the river to others... though with hindsight, the obvious way to do the shuttle (in the absence of family with a passing campervan) would be by pushbike: the cycle-way looked most appealing (and the train shuttle wasn't anything like as convenient as the one on our earlier descent of the Lahn.

AxeI Offline

Beiträge: 1.002

09.01.2012 13:34
#2 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Stunning story and marvellous pictures.
Thank you for posting this trip-report.

There's more means to move a canoe than paddles

Wolfgang Hölbling Offline

Beiträge: 3.274

09.01.2012 14:21
#3 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Thanks for Posting, Wolfgang

Wolfgang Hölbling

Trapper Offline

Beiträge: 1.681

09.01.2012 14:56
#4 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

It's look like you had a lot of fun! Thanks for posting your Tour.

Internette Grüße Thomas

Troubadix Offline

Beiträge: 1.340

09.01.2012 15:55
#5 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Nice pictures, nice Trip.

Thank You

Andreas Schürmann Offline

Beiträge: 2.295

10.01.2012 08:04
#6 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Hi Greg
Very nice trip and beautiful pictures.

>>>> the cycle-way looked most appealing
Me and my daughter cycled 2008 from Cuxhaven to Hann Münden, it was a nice trip, as spezialy from Minden to Hann Münden.

Maybe this year we find a week to follow the weser downstream with a canoe.


"Wie wir die Welt wahrnehmen, hängt davon ab, wie wir uns in ihr bewegen." F. Schätzing

docook Offline

Beiträge: 1.006

10.01.2012 09:42
#7 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Hi greg,
a nice tour with running water and great impressions. My next tip: the small rivers in northern Germany to explore how Aller, Oste, Wümme, , etc.
many greetings docook

ronald Offline

Beiträge: 210

10.01.2012 12:02
#8 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten


thanks for giving a feedback with cool pics - i´m happy you both had fun! So, next time Altmühl... ;-)

cu, Ronald

ceerge Offline

Beiträge: 290

10.01.2012 19:49
#9 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

thanks a lot for this nice report!

Best regards, ceerge

downriver Offline

Beiträge: 92

13.01.2012 16:37
#10 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

hi greg,
very nice report and lovely pics!
how is your tandem-partner? - greatings from matthis.
cu markus

Kanuotter Offline

Beiträge: 551

15.01.2012 14:02
#11 RE: River Weser: Hann. Münden to Emmerthal (Hameln) antworten

Hello Snowgoose,

thanks for sharing your trip with us. Loveley pictures.


 Sprung ACA Kanuschule